January 24, 2013


Sara Darehshori, senior counsel with the US Program at Human Rights Watch, researched and wrote this report. Dr. Brian Root, consultant with Human Rights Watch, analyzed the data and created the graphs in the “Missing Cases” section. At Human Rights Watch, this report was reviewed by Alison Parker, director of the US Program; Maria McFarland, acting director of the US Program; Meghan Rhoad, researcher with the Women’s Rights Division; Aisling Reidy, senior legal advisor; and Danielle Haas, senior editor. Megan McLemore and Shantha Rau Barriga in the Health and Human Rights Division also reviewed portions of the report. Samantha Reiser and Elena Vanko, associates with the US Program, assisted with research for this report. Vikram Shah, associate with the US Program, provided assistance with data analysis. Samantha Reiser and Elena Vanko also assisted with final preparation of the report, formatting, and footnotes. Layout and production were coordinated by Grace Choi, publications director, Kathy Mills, publications specialist, Fitzroy Hepkins, mail manager, Samantha Reiser, and Elena Vanko.

A friend of Human Rights Watch and photographer, Virginia Joffe, took the cover photo for the report.

A number of interns volunteered to help organize and check the data for this report including: Priyanka Anand, Suzy Gaber, Ruth Montiel, Halina Schiffman-Shilo, Jessica Huaman, and Aidan Delilkan-Russell. Courtney Wen, of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, provided pro bono assistance with spreadsheets.

External reviews of portions of this report were conducted by Sergeant Joanne Archambault and Dr. Kimberly A. Lonsway of End Violence Against Women International. Sergeant Archambault also generously provided guidance on police investigations of sexual assault throughout the preparation of the report. In addition, Sergeant Liz Donegan, Captain Mark Folsom, Detective Catherine Johnson, Carol Tracy, and Terry Fromson provided valuable assistance reviewing the section on improving sexual assault investigations. We also want to thank Bruce Spiva and Catherine Bendor of the Spiva law firm for their assistance.

An excellent team of pro bono attorneys and their staff at McDermott, Will & Emery LLP in Washington, D.C., assisted with our records request from numerous entities in the District of Columbia and represented Human Rights Watch in the effort to obtain information from the Metropolitan Police Department: Marc Sorini, Joshua Rogaczewski, and Shauna Barnes. In addition, Shauna Barnes, and two summer associates, Lisa Peterson and Perrin Fourmy, provided invaluable assistance with last minute coding of data.

Finally, and most importantly, we are thankful to the sexual assault survivors who shared their stories with us and to those who work with sexual assault survivors who were willing to come forward with the hope of improving treatment for victims in D.C. and elsewhere. Numerous professionals risked their relations with the MPD because they felt it was important that this issue be addressed and this report would not have been possible without their commitment to victims of sexual assault.